How can I do better searches?

Sometimes doing a search can be overwhelming-- you either find way too much information or not enough. To learn how to maximize your searches, check out our Search Techniques on our guide to Finding and Evaluating Information on the Internet.

In the meantime, here are a couple of quick tips to help make your searches more successful:

Keywords
Take a minute to brainstorm and write down some basic words and phrases that relate to your topic. You can then take these and use various combinations to help find more specific information when you start your searches.
  • Use general words for a broad search
  • Use specific words for a narrower search
  • Use related words to pick up some similar concepts.
Boolean Operators
Combine words using and, or, not.
  • And gets more specific results because all of the words must be in the entry for the result to show
  • Or allows you to search for synonyms or word variations in one search.
  • Not eliminates unwanted words. This prevents useless sites from showing in your searches.